When I put my pup in his carrier each morning to take him to work (the best perk of being a BarkPost writer), I never think that our relationship would be radically different if we could turn back the clock a few thousand years.
It’s hard to imagine, in our fast-paced modern world, that once upon a time cave dogs and cave people roamed the wild countryside in search of food, water and shelter.
If we lived in the past, there would be no big buildings or super markets, no heat or air conditioning, just you and your pup in a state of nature.
You would need to scavenge and hunt for your food. After all, that’s what ancient humans did. And according to anthropologist Pat Shipman, dogs gave ancient humans their advantage over competing species. (Hmmm, maybe not THIS dog.)
Now, my Chihuahua wouldn’t be much of an advantage over a Cro-Magnon or Neanderthal, but if I had a wolf-dog like ancient humans did, that would be a different story. Shipman says that the dogs of ancient peoples weren’t quite dogs as we understand them today, nor were they still wolves.
Wolf-dogs were somewhere between in their evolution, but nevertheless were powerful hunters and loyal to humans. Because humans and dogs worked together, unlike Neanderthals or Cro-Magnon, they were more capable of finding food and staving off predators, giving them a serious advantage over the competition. So ancient peoples probably REALLY loved their dogs.
Sure we modern peoples love our dogs, but we don’t necessarily need them to survive. Even though dogs continue to inspire, guide and comfort us, it’s good to remember that at one point in our history people did rely on dogs for our basic survival.
So I think we all owe our dogs a big thank you!